Seat swapping Kerry co-drivers and drivers on Galway Summer Rally

Result officers working on Sunday’s Galway Summer Rally were left feeling a little bemused after several well-known local drivers turned up at the event as navigators. 

The same was said about Kerry-based co-drivers who were in the driver’s seat for the first time.

John McCarthy, from Lawlor’s Cross, is one of the best local co-drivers. Results this year include guiding Jason Farrell to victory in the Junior section of the Rally of the Lakes. 

He contested his third rally as a driver on Sunday with none other than star local driver Rob Duggan in the hot seat. 

John plans a full-time switch to rally driving and needs to upgrade his licence so he can enter bigger events like the Rally of the Lakes. 

With that in mind, he drove a Honda Civic to fifth in class 11F, ably assisted by the man who won the National section of the Rally of the Lakes in May. 

Gneeveguilla’S Donagh Crowley is better knowns as a co-driver. He is a regular top ten finisher in the Irish Forestry Rally Championship alongside Gerard Lucey in a Mitsubishi Lancer E8.

He has also called Pacenotes for his friend and neighbour Denis Nagle.

Like McCarthy, Crowley switched to the driver’s seat for Sunday’s Athenry-based event and was co-driven by Nagle. 

They finished fourth in class and lost out on a potential third place after exhaust problems on the last loop of three stages in their Toyota Starlet. 

“There is a lot of seat hopping going on at the moment,” joked Nagle. 

Conor Murphy and Sean Collins were the best of the local crews in Galway, bringing their Ford Escort home in ninth place overall. Glenflesk’s Bob Moran and his Cork-based co-driver Eoin Collins were third in Class 11R.

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